Troy will pay for stimulus

Published 8:39 pm Saturday, April 18, 2009

Federal money earmarked to stimulate the economy may actually cost the city of Troy some money.

After being told by the League of Municipalities, the Alabama Department of Transportation and state congressmen to have infrastructure projects “shovel ready,” the city was hopeful for some funding.

“I was extremely disappointed there was no road work money available for cities our size,” said Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. “I was told to get shovel ready projects, and that’s what we did.”

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In hopes of receiving funding to resurface some roads in Troy, Lunsford said the city will have to pay some $15,000 to $20,000 to an engineer who worked to evaluate the streets.

The project total, which was an estimated $1.8 million, spanned multiple streets in the city, Lunsford said. But now, it’s a project that will stay on hold.

While eventually the city would have had to pay the engineer fees for the project, it’s something Lunsford said they would have delayed in tight budget times.

“I know we wouldn’t of spent that at this time,” Lunsford said.

The stimulus money passed down for infrastructure was filtered through the state, and Lunsford said cities the size of Troy did not receive any of the funds.

But, that doesn’t mean Troy was completely overlooked in federal aid.

With $160,000 alloted for the Pike-Area Transit System, overseen by Troy, Lunsford said the city is considering a new purchase.

“Right now, we’re looking at buying the facility we currently rent,” Lunsford said.

Lunsford said the city will seek other ways or work to determine if there is some stimulus money available for local infrastructure.

Congressman Bobby Bright said learning Troy was not eligible for any of these funds was disappointing to him, as well, and he promised Lunsford he would work to see if there was something he could do to help.